We’ve heard Fedor hint at it before, once he was defeated by Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in Strikeforce, but now it seems he’s made it official. Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (33-4, MMA) gave an interview on Russian TV stating that he was done with MMA following his June 21st fight with Pedro Rizzo. MMAFighting was provided the translation of the key phrases from Ukrainian MMA journalist Artem Yalanskiy.
“My previous fight was in Moscow and my last fight will be in St. Petersburg on June 21st,” Emelianenko says. “It will be the last fight in my career.”
“Is this your final decision?” the interviewer asks.
“Yes,” Emelianenko says, “I think it’s time to end my career.”
If he in fact retires following this fight, at least he would get to do it in his home country of Russia. Emelianenko is from Stary Oskol, Russia. His fight vs Pedro Rizzo for the M-1 promotion is scheduled for June 21 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Now at age 35, Fedor has had his share of injuries that he attributed as part of the reason he’s ready to hang it up. He first mentioned that it might be time for him to step away in his post-fight interview following a TKO loss to Silva in Strikeforce in February 2011. In that interview, Fedor said via a translator, “Something went wrong from the very beginning, and I didn’t readjust myself. Maybe it’s time leave. Maybe it’s high time. I thank God for everything. I spent a great, beautiful, long sporting life.”
The early part of Fedor’s career was the most captivating to see. He was never defeated in Pride (he had only one no-contest to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira) and suffered only one loss in 33 fights. Once Pride folded, it was believed the Last Emperor would join forces with the UFC. Fedor’s management and the UFC Brass never came to an agreement on terms and Fedor subsequently signed with Strikeforce.
In Strikeforce, Fedor suffered 3 consecutive losses to Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, respectively. Fedor left Strikeforce after his lost to Hendo and four months later defeated Jeff Monson in M-1. He also brought home a win over Satoshi Ishii in Japan’s annual end of the year MMA bash, Genki Desu Ka.
Whether or not you were a fan of Fedor, you have to wonder where his career would have went if not for his management interfering. Prior to his Strikeforce losses, Fedor was at the prime of his career when he fought in Pride. He went (14-0, 1NC) while with Pride and had 9 1st round wins.